United Methodist Missionaries serving in Thailand

United Methodist Missionaries serving in Thailand

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We serve with the Thailand Methodist Mission

We serve with the Thailand Methodist Mission
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Monday, July 03, 2017

Five Praises to the Lord

We are very excited to tell you about all of the wonderful things the Lord is doing in Thailand through your prayers and support. God is Good!

1.  Sai Noi Church, a new Pioneer Pastor church.

Pastors Somsri and Warin and the members of Fire of Glory Church have been doing outreach ministries for a several years in Sai Noi.  When they have an outreach event, they will usually have 80 plus children as well as many of their parents and grandparents to come.  Relationships with the families have been developed for a long time, and it is now time to plant a church there.  So we have rented a house to use as a church building and the members of Fire of Glory Church have been hard at work cleaning it up, painting the walls, and fixing broken doors and fixtures.

John, a member of Fire of Glory Church, works at painting the walls
of the Sai Noi church building.




















Members of Fire of Glory Church clean up the Sai Noi church building.















Sai Noi Church is a second campus of the Fire of Glory Church.  Pastors Somsri and Warin will conduct worship services and Church school classes on Saturday evenings while continuing to have services at the mother church on Sunday mornings.  Please pray for this new church plant that many people in the community will become disciples of Christ.  Over 70,000 people live in Sai Noi and this is the first church there to reach the people with the good news of Jesus Christ.

2.  Fruitful ministry at House of Immanuel Church

Thank you for your prayers for Jerry.  We can tell you are praying because the Lord did powerful things there.  Jerry kept busy there at House of Immanuel Church in Buriram.  He taught English 6 days per week, preached each Sunday morning, installed a new tile floor at the church, painted the walls at the church, visited people in the community, and helped transport a church member to dialysis treatments for 3 weeks.  

Jerry teaching English to the kids at church.

























The Lord used Jerry to help this church develop strong and deep connections in the community and with the village chief.  Christians at this location are seen by their Buddhist neighbors as people who want to develop families in the community and make the community to be stronger.  And all of the remodeling work Jerry did on the church building lifted the people's spirits.  

Now we have a different problem at House of Immanuel Church.  There are so many children attending church each Sunday that there is no place to teach the children.  Right now, the children have Sunday School in the outdoor kitchen, because it is the only shaded place for them.  But this is not working well because people are cooking lunch while the children are there.  So a new building that will be like a picnic shelter, will be built to solve this issue.

This is the most common problem that we have.  Most of the churches have too many people to fit into the buildings that they have.  This is a good problem to have, but still requires money to solve.

3.  Special Blessings Korat opened on July 3!

Carol Fare and Vicki Brown have worked tirelessly to get Special Blessings Korat open.
(See their website by click the link here >> www.specialblessingskorat.org)
Special Blessings Korat is a ministry that serves special needs children, helping them develop life skills needed so they can qualify to attend public school (life skills like dressing and feeding themselves, being able to use the bathroom themselves).

July 3, Opening Day at Special Blessings Korat

























The week before the opening, terrible storms swept through Korat and the Special Blessing Korat building was flooded several times.  Carol and Vicki worked to exhaustion with cleanup and making changes to the building that we hope will prevent future floods.

The opening of Special Blessings Korat went well.  Carol says, "I feel a little old and very tired but oh so blessed."

4.  Baptisms at Chiang Dao Church

Each month, we are contacted by Pioneer Pastors inviting us to baptize new believers.  We could not attend the one at Chiang Dao, but Drs. Tanapong and Muanreedee of Global Theological Institute, sent us pictures.





























In Thai churches, almost everyone is a first generation Christian, and this baptism service was no exception.  It is always exciting witnessing the passionate love these new Christians have for the Lord.

5.  Shelby Gillespie arrived in Thailand

We are very happy to have Shelby back in Thailand.  Shelby is a long-term career missionary who is beginning a 5-year term of service.  Please pray for Shelby as she does immersion Thai language study during this year.  She needs to learn the language well because next year she will serve as Director of the Blessing Home Isan center.

Shelby dancing in worship
with Thai Christians.



























Thursday, June 08, 2017

Jerry needs your prayers for a very difficult assignment

We are very pleased to have Jerry Motsinger of Peoria FUMC serving as a short term volunteer with the Thailand Methodist Mission once again, and ask for prayers as he fulfills a difficult assignment.
Jerry has been deployed to House of Immanuel Church in Buriram province, a new Pioneer Pastor church which was just planted last year.  This church does exceptional children and youth ministry and have requested a missionary to serve with them long-term to teach English.  The first step that we do is to send in a short-term volunteer to serve at the location.  The goal is to do a test run to see how things will work at that location if we send a long-term missionary.  We like to work out as many bugs and issues as possible before doing a long-term deployment.

So Jerry needs prayers because he does NOT speak Thai language and he is deployed in a place where no one in the church speaks English.  Jerry is living with one of the church families there and started teaching English yesterday.  He will be there for the next four weeks adjusting to life which is very different from his life in the States.

Jerry Motsinger and Sherri join Pastor Somsri in
praying for three new believers to Jesus Christ at House of Immanuel Church

Jerry greets the members of House of Immanuel Church.






































We also want to thank everyone for lifting up Pastor Santi's father in prayer.  Pastor Santi's father had his foot severely injured in a motorcycle accident, and was in great danger of losing it.  But now he is healing up just fine and is able to walk once again.  God is good!

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Prayers Needed for Pastor Santi

Hello Prayer Warriors.  Sherri and I rejoice in you because your prayers are the powerhouse of this mission.  And when we see great things happening in Thailand, we know it is because you faithfully lift us and the Thai Christians up in prayer.

One of the aspects of the Pioneer Pastor Program that we don’t talk about much is helping these pastors through family emergencies.  Pioneer pastors serve at great financial sacrifice to their family and many times they are planting churches that are 50 to 120 miles away from any other church, so they are isolated from other Christians who can help them during difficult times.  We do our best to provide help in every way for these servants of the Lord who work on the front lines of the Gospel of Christ.

Pastor Santi and his son.






































Please pray for the father of Pastor Santi of the Grace Akha Church in Pattaya.  Pastor Santi contacted us about his father, who is diabetic and has horrible sores on his feet (he sent pictures to us, but they were too gruesome to share with you).  He needed $350 USD for an operation to save his father’s feet.  Because of the generosity of God’s people like you, we were able to send funds so Pastor Santi’s father could receive medical help.  And we know all healing comes from the Great Physician, Jesus Christ.  So please be lifting Pastor Santi’s father up in prayer, that the Lord will heal him.

 We would also like to give praise to the Lord for a wonderful time of itineration among some of the churches that support us in this mission as well as some churches we visited for the first time.  During the past few months, we have had over 300 new prayer warriors sign up to receive these email updates and to intercede before the Lord on our behalf.  God is Good!

We usually mention only prayer requests and praises in our emails, but once again we have had many people asking us about how to donate to the mission.  Since his been 4 months since we have included this information in our blog updates, we will put it out there once again for all who are led by the Lord to give.  Your giving provides the funds that feed and educate Blessing Home children and plant churches in unreached places in Thailand.  Your generosity trains new Christian leaders at Global Theological Institute and teaches financial skills to poor Isan Christians.

Checks can be mailed to:
TMM
P.O. Box 56
Mannsville, KY 42758

Or give online at thailandmethodist.org

Thailand Methodist Mission is funded solely by direct support from individuals and churches that the Lord has led to give to this mission.  Your support makes this mission possible.



Saturday, April 08, 2017

An Opportunity to Serve on a Short Term Mission Team

We would like to announce the next opportunity for serving on a Short Term Mission Team with the Thailand Methodist Mission.


TEAM THAILAND 2018


WHEN: February 23, 2018 - March 5, 2018

COST: $1,500 (includes $500 non-refundable deposit).  FLIGHTS ARE NOT INCLUDED IN THE COST.  You will need to reserve your own flights.  Be sure to read about flight details on this website.

WHAT YOU WILL DO ON THIS MISSION TEAM:
  • You will visit Blessing Home Ground Zero in Pattaya.  Meet some of the children that you help to save and protect from sex and drug traffickers.
  • You will learn how you can make a difference in stopping trafficking in Southeast Asia.
  • You will visit Pioneer Pastor Churches and go to the homes of people in the community who need prayer for healing or other needs.   
  • You will go on fun cultural tours, and may even ride an elephant.
For more all of the information you need to apply for this team, 
please click on this link to the >> TEAM THAILAND 2018 website


Friday, March 31, 2017

How God Called Us to Serve As Missionaries - Part 2

Normally Sherri and I do not talk about ourselves and our experiences on this prayer blog.  We would rather focus on what the Lord is doing in the mission through the Thai Christians so you can pray for specific prayer requests and give praise to God for answers to those prayers.  But we have been asked many times to tell our story about how God called us to serve as missionaries in Thailand, so we will continue to tell the story where we left off.

Our call to serve as missionaries came in two phases.
First, God called us to serve as missionaries in the 10/40 Window (if you did not read the first article about our call, here is the link,  >> http://msmorrissey.blogspot.com/2017/02/how-god-called-us-to-serve-as.html

In this article, we will tell you how God called us to focus our service in Thailand.

In 2004, when we filled out our application to serve as missionaries, we were open to serving anywhere in the 10/40 Window (if you do not know what this window is, please click on the above link and read the first article) we could safely serve with our youngest son, who was 13 year old at that time.  On our application, we said we would serve either in Northern Africa for relief work (at that time the greatest need for relief work was in that region) OR we would love to serve in Southeast Asia for church planting.  For us, it was important to be open to serve where we were needed the most rather than having a personal preference.  We wanted to serve where God chose, and to be open to wherever God would send us.

About a year and a half after submitting our application to be Methodist missionaries, we were called in for an interview in New York City.  The interview was a blind one, meaning that we would not be told what position OR what country that the mission agency would send us to if we were chosen.  We had a friend that told us that there were eleven nations that the agency needed missionaries, but Thailand was NOT one of them because they did not yet have any churches in Thailand.

We went in for the interview and were placed at one end of a long table, with many people around the table asking questions of us.  When the chair of the interview committee said, "I see from your application that you wish to be deployed to Africa", Sherri corrected him and said, "Yes, but we also said we would love to serve in Southeast Asia to plant churches."  Sherri's answer elicited odd reactions around the table, including the chairperson.  (We later learned that we were being interviewed to serve in the Cameroon in Africa).  Sherri and I were a bit unsettled because of the odd reactions and we could not read whether it was good or bad.

Later, one of the committee members asked us this question, "If we deployed you to a nation that did not like Americans, how would you respond?"  Sherri looked over at me with a look that said I should answer this one.  As I was formulating my answer, I wanted to give an example, but did not want to steer my answer towards any of the eleven nations that our friend mentioned.  So to be on the safe side, I chose the one nation that I knew we were NOT being interviewed for because this agency had no missionaries and no churches and no ministries yet in that country.  I said, "Imagine if you sent us to THAILAND....."  As soon as I said "Thailand", a few of the committee members jerked their heads and dropped their pens on the table.  This was a visibly strong reaction, and I thought it was a bad reaction.  I thought for sure that I messed things up and now wished Sherri had answered this question instead of me.

Soon after I answered that question, the interview concluded and we were told that we had the rest of the day to ourselves.  We had nothing to do, so we decided to go for a long walk in Manhattan.  And as we walked we kept seeing signs in windows and on the sidewalks:  Visit Thailand, Beautiful Thailand, Unseen Thailand, Thailand the Land of Smiles, Amazing Thailand.  We must have seen over 100 signs during our 6 hour walk through Manhattan.  Evidently there was a Thailand tourism campaign happening.










Sherri looked over at me and said, "God is sending us to Thailand."  She said this with confidence.  I have always been the one with the slower learning curve, so I said to her, "You know we will not be sent to Thailand, there are no UM churches or ministries there."  Sherri looked at me and said, "Mark my words, God is sending us to Thailand."

The next day, one of the committee members, a medical doctor, told us in confidence that the committee decided to send us to Thailand to be the first UM missionaries to plant the first UM churches there.  Sherri was gracious enough not to say, "I told you so!"

In 2006, were were commissioned and send to Thailand and it became very evident that this was where God was calling us to lifetime service.

Below is a picture of us at our commissioning service, 11 years ago.  We love serving as missionaries in Thailand.  When you serve where God has called you to serve and doing the ministry God has called you to do, that is where you find peace, joy, and meaning.


Friday, March 10, 2017

Meet TMM Missionaries David and Allie Houle

Luke 10:2
He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

God is Good!  When you pray to the Lord, He hears your prayers and meets every need.

We have asked all of you prayer warriors to continually lift before the Lord our mission's deepest need, which is for workers for the harvest.  Thailand Methodist Mission needs the right people to come serve long-term, learn the Thai language so they can serve in vital ways with Thai Christian leaders.  There is a huge need, and the tasks and duties are difficult, requiring the right people, those whom the Lord has called and equipped for service in areas in Thailand where there are very few Christians.

God has heard your prayers and called David and Allie Houle of the North Alabama Annual Conference to serve at Blessing Home in Pattaya.  David and Allie Houle have committed to a five-year term and are beginning to visit churches to raise prayer and financial support for the mission.  At this time, we have no missionaries serving at Blessing Home in Pattaya, so their service here fills a huge need.

TMM Missionaries David and Allie Houle

David is a Chemical Engineer and Allie is a Registered Nurse.  They have been preparing for the mission field through studies with Perspectives on the World Christian Movement (www.perspectives.org - we strongly recommend this course for all who are discerning and pursuing a call to mission service).

Please pray for the David and Allie, that the Lord will move God's People to faithfully support their mission with prayers and financial support.

And please continue to pray that God will lead the right people to serve with the Thailand Methodist Mission as long-term vocational missionaries.  The harvest is great and the workers are few.

Monday, February 27, 2017

How God called us to serve as missionaries

We are back in the States for a time of itineration among some of the churches that support the Thailand Methodist Mission, and we praise the Lord for a time of refreshing and renewal.  It is a great blessing to speak at many churches and let everyone know how their prayers and generous giving have made an eternal difference in the lives of Thai people.    And the vast majority of our prayer blog updates are about prayer needs and praises for answers to your prayers, how the Lord is moving in mighty ways in the lives of Thai Christians.  But today, we will share from our hearts and our relationship with the Lord.

When we visit from church to church, we are frequently asked how the Lord called us to serve as missionaries.  Sherri and I both received our call from the Lord to serve as missionaries when we were students at Moody Bible Institute (MBI) in 1981.  Both of our stories are long, so I will condense it into a “nutshell”. 

The Lord called us to shine our lights where it is darkest.   To serve the Lord where the need is great and the workers are very few.

One of the classes every student at MBI was required to take was “Introduction to Missions”.  And in that class we learned about the 10/40 Window. 


The 10/40 Window is located from 10 degrees south to 40 degrees north of the equator. There are 69 nations across northern Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia in the 10/40 Window. Nearly 4 billion people live here, including 90 percent of the world's poorest of the poor. It is estimated that 1.6 billion of these people have never had the chance to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ - not even once! The seat of every major non-Christian religion - Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Animism, Atheism, and Sikhism - is headquartered in the 10/40 Window.

• Two-thirds of the world's population — 4 billion people — live in the 10/40 Window.
• 95% of these 4 billion people are unevangelized.
• 87% are the poorest of the poor, living on an average of only $250 per family annually.
• 45 of the 50 worst countries in the world for persecution of Christians are in the 10/40 Window.
• Child prostitution and child slavery run rampant in many of these nations.
• Horrific abuse of women and children remains unchecked, including an epidemic of pedophilia.

Though the needs are both and desperate and urgent, only 5¢ out of every $100 spent on missions globally is directed toward the 10/40 Window. That's 0.0005% of all missions money designated to bring the Gospel to 66% of the world's population! (source: win1040.com)

When we learned about the 10/40 Window, we knew that the Lord was calling us to serve somewhere within that window.  The Lord was calling us to shine our lights where it is darkest and to serve where the need is great and the workers are very few.  At first we did not know where in the Window we would serve, but the Lord later focused our call to be in one of those 10/40 nations…. THAILAND!  And we will tell you about how God called us to Thailand in another blog update.

So we want to thank you for your prayers and financial support that make this mission possible and empowers us to serve in Thailand. 

Now if you are geographically challenged like we are, you may not be able to identify many of the nations on that map, so here is a list of all of the nations of the 10/40 Window.



Thursday, February 09, 2017

Serendipities

Sherri and I are on our 11th year serving as Methodist missionaries in Thailand.  And we continue to be amazed at all the wonderful things the Lord is doing.  You pray for this mission, and then God blesses the mission in greater ways than we expected or imagined. 
We like to call these unexpected blessings “Serendipities”.  Here are some of the many Serendipities from God in 2016.

  • ·         2 new Pioneer Pastor Churches were planted in Buriram and Buengkan provinces.  We expected to plant 2 churches.  What we did NOT know was that they would outgrow their buildings so fast.  Church buildings were constructed for both of these new congregations because there was no place large enough for them in their villages.  Now there are a total of 31 Pioneer Pastor churches planted in 31 counties that were previously unreached.

New Church Building at Buengkan




·         
















  •       We expected to build one church building in 2016, the new Blessing Home TaPhraya center.  But God provided the funds to build FIVE church buildings, in Loepahan, TaPhraya, Buriram, Buengkan, and Sukhothai provinces.  These churches are self-supporting, self-leading, self-multiplying and they now have buildings, which help them to be permanent.

 
Bright Future Savings Group depositing savings at Blessing Home Isan
















  •        Sherri piloted a new ministry called Bright Future Savings Groups at Blessing Home Ground Zero in Pattaya and Blessing Home Isan and two other churches..  This program helps women and men to meet to save money together and learn Biblical principles regarding money and also to learn how to budget and control family finances.  When we arrived in Thailand over 10 years ago, over 55% of Thai Isan farmers owned their own land.  But now only 15% of Thai Isan farmers own their own land!  The curriculum and program are in the process of development in this pilot and it has been very successful.  We have had a large number of pastors and Christian leaders contact us so they can start Bright Future Savings Groups in their churches.  The response has been wonderful!




We ask for continued prayers of the Bright Future Savings Group program.  Sherri and I believe that the Bright Future Savings programs will help families to develop their families and lift themselves out of poverty.  And as Thai churches have families that develop to become financially solid, these churches will grow and help to plant other new churches so the Gospel of Christ reaches every part of Thailand.




Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Most Incredible New Year's Day.

We enjoyed on an incredible New Year's Day that will forever be locked in our memory.  One of the newest Pioneer Pastor church plants is in Buengkan province, in Northeast Thailand, on the south shore of the Mekong River which serves as the border with Laos.  The cell group here in Buengkan grew rapidly into a thriving church.  

This church did not start in Buengkan, but instead started 500 miles away at God is Good Church in Ban Bueng in Chonburi province in Eastern Thailand.  There was a woman named Buasorn, who moved with her husband many years ago from Buengkan to Chonburi to work here.  It was two years ago that Buasorn became sick and went to the hospital.  She found out that she had breast cancer and that she would need chemo treatments.  Buasorn was frantic because she was afraid of suffering and death and she confided in a friend of hers, Anupa, one of the Christian leaders of God is Good Church, a Pioneer Pastor Church.  Anupa prayed over her friend Buasorn, and the Lord heard her prayers and healed Buasorn of cancer.  She did not even have to go through with the chemo treatments!  Her cancer scans came back clean again and again!

Anupa led Buasorn to receive Jesus as her Lord and Savior, and Buasorn started to attend God is Good Church every Sunday.  Anupa would pick up Buasorn and bring her to church every Sunday because they owned only one car and Buasorn dare not take the car and leave her husband without one.  This went on for several months, and during this time Buasorn and the members of God is Good Church prayed that her husband Jaray would come to Christ.  One day, Jaray told Buasorn that they should not be a burden to Anupa anymore, and he would be willing to take Buasorn to church.  At first he would drop her off at church and then come back and pick her up.  But eventually Jaray would drive Buasorn to church and then come inside with her.  It was not long before Jaray gave his life to Christ.  When we asked Jaray why he gave his life to Christ, he said that Jesus made his wife to become a new person and he wanted a new life in Christ too.

Jaray and Anupa then shared the Gospel of Christ with his family and relatives in his home village in Buengkan, and many of them became Christians.  Pastors Peter, Nuc, and Jennifer of God is Good Church started to take turns traveling to Buengkan every other weekend to have worship, Bible study, and training there.  Members of God is Good church did outreach events there several times as well.  The new believers in Buengkan met at the village center (it is a public building that is like a picnic shelter) but they were growing too numerous to continue meeting there.  So Jaray and Buasorn donated land in the middle of the village so a church could be built.

About 2 weeks after construction of a church building began on the land, Jaray became ill and entered the hospital, he quickly deteriorated and became bed-ridden.  At first we prayed for healing, and then it became evident that his time to be with the Lord was coming soon.  So we started praying that the Lord would allow Jaray to live long enough to have the church building completed and to have a Grand Opening Worship Service.  God answered our prayers.

So on New Year's Day, we had a Grand Opening Service for God is Good Buengkan Church (they took the name of their mother church).  The members of the church went to Jaray's house and they carried him in his bed to the church and placed him at the front.  His wife, Buasorn, as well as his sisters took turns caring for him.  He constantly needed to be moved and turned (for comfort as well as to prevent sores), and they had to use a suction device with they inserted into a stoma in his neck to remove fluid from his lungs.  He also had an oxygen tube connected to him at all times.



















We have been privileged to celebrate many Grand Openings of new church buildings, but this was the only time we have had a man in his last days reclining in a bed at the front of the church.  We were honored to celebrate together with Jaray and Buasorn.  They planted the first Christian church in their county, and they have already seen many lives transformed by Christ.  We know these new Christians because Sherri baptized many of them last year.  They are filled with joy and a passionate love for Jesus that first generation Christians have in abundance.  


















As you see from pictures, the church is Red with a white stripe in the middle.  I showed them a picture of the "striped tomato car" from Starsky and Hutch (a TV show from the 70's), and told them that I will call this the Striped Tomato Church.

We were overwhelmed with joy this New Year's Day, and filled with the wonderful satisfaction that one more county that never had a Christian church throughout history is now being reached with the Gospel of Christ.  And this county will never be the same.